Actually we have 4! 

The main statement we hold to is the Paris Basis, which is the continuing basis and mission statement of the YMCA as adopted by the delegates of the First World Conference in Paris in 1855 and reaffirmed by the 6th World Council of YMCAs in 1973:


The Young Men's Christian Associations seek to unite those young men who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour, according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be his disciples in their faith and in their life, and to associate their efforts for the extension of his Kingdom amongst young men.



In 1971 the British YMCAs adopted an additional statement, the Aims and Purposes, which reflects something of the practical side of YMCA work:



The YMCA is a Christian Movement:
At its centre are Christians who, regarding Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, desire to share their faith with others and make Him known, believed, trusted, loved, served and exemplified in all human relationships. It welcomes into its fellowship persons of other religious faiths and of none.

  • Accordingly the YMCA stands for:
             A worldwide fellowship based on the equal value of all persons.

  •          Respect and freedom for all, tolerance and understanding between people of different opinions.

  •          Active concern for the needs of the community.

  •          United effort by Christians of different traditions.


The YMCA Aims to:

          Provide a welcome to members for themselves, in a meeting place which is theirs to share, where friendships can be made and counsel sought.

          Develop activities which stimulate and challenge its members in an environment that enables them to take responsibility and find a sense of achievement.

          Involve all members in care and work for others.

          Create opportunities for exchanging views, so that its members can improve their understanding of the world, of themselves and of one another.



The 6th World Council meeting in Kampala, Uganda, in July 1973, adopted at the following declaration of principles to complement the Paris Basis:


The Paris Basis expresses that Christ is the centre of the Movement, which is conceived as a world-wide fellowship uniting Christians of all confessions. It is consistent with an open membership policy, involving people irrespective of faith as well as age, sex, race and social condition.  The Basis is not designed to serve as a condition of individual YMCA membership, which is deliberately left to the discretion of constituent movements of the World Alliance. The Basis makes clear that the constituent movements of the Alliance have full freedom to express their purpose in other terms designed to correspond more directly to the needs and aspirations of those whom they are seeking to serve, provided these are regarded by the World Alliance as being consistent with the Paris Basis.  Recognising the character of the YMCAs in the world today, this act of acknowledging the Paris Basis places upon the various associations and their members as fellow workers with God such imperatives as:

1. To work for equal opportunity and justice for all.

2. To work for and maintain an environment in which relationships among people are characterised by love and understanding.

3. To work for and maintain conditions, within the YMCA and in society, its organisations and institutions, which allow for honesty, depth and creativity.

4. To develop and maintain leadership and programme patterns which exemplify the varieties and depth of Christian experience.

5. To work for the development of the whole person.


At its 14th World Council in Frechen, Germany, in 1998, the YMCA movement adopted a statement for the 21st Century.  This statement is called Challenge 21:


CHALLENGE 21 (1998)

Affirming the Paris Basis adopted in 1855, as the ongoing foundation statement of the mission of the YMCA, at the threshold of the third millennium, we declare that the YMCA is a world-wide Christian, ecumenical, voluntary movement for women and men with special emphasis on and the genuine involvement of young people, and that it seeks to share the Christian ideal of building a human community of justice with love, peace and reconciliation for the fullness of life for all creation.


Each member YMCA is therefore called to focus on certain challenges which will be prioritized according to its own context. These challenges which are an evolution of the Kampala Principles adopted in 1973, include:

       Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and striving for spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being of individuals and wholeness of communities.

      Empowering all, especially young people and women to take increased responsibilities and assume leadership at all levels and working towards an equitable society.

      Advocating for and promoting the rights of women and upholding the rights of children.

      Fostering dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies and recognizing the cultural identities of people and promoting cultural renewal.

      Committing to work in solidarity with the poor, dispossessed, uprooted people and oppressed racial, religious and ethnic minorities.

      Seeking to be mediators and reconcilers in situations of conflict and working for meaningful participation and advancement of people for their own self-determination.

      Defending God's creation against all that would destroy it and preserving and protecting the earth's resources for coming generations.

To face these challenges, the YMCA will develop patterns of co-operation at all levels that enable self-sustenance and self-determination.







Aberdeen YMCA, 52 Skene Terrace, Aberdeen, AB10 1RP, Scotland (UK)
tel:   +44 (0)1224 643291
fax:  +44 (0)1224 643292
e-mail: [email protected]

Aberdeen YMCA Charity Shop, 55 Skene Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1QD
tel:   +44 (0)1224 379980
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Scottish Charity Number: SC013487
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